EU LCS Summer Split is just around the corner, and the anticipation is through the roof as the most exciting spring in Europe’s history is still fresh in everyone’s minds.
With very few roster changes and tons of practice during the offseason, most teams will be looking to take part in the fight for Worlds.
Every week counts in the Summer Split, so let’s take a look at the matchups in week 1!
Team Vitality vs. Splyce
The new split will start with a duel between the 3rd and 4th place teams from Spring, who gave us an incredible BO5 last time they fought. Both teams kept the same rosters (Vitality’s Attila is just their former ADC Minitroupax with a different name), and it’ll be interesting to see who adapted better to the new meta.
Vitality have a history of putting a lot of work in the early game, with Gilius being one of the most frequent gankers in the league. Xerxe, however, has been a terrific control style jungler, and him putting Gilius in check will be one of Splyce’s main win conditions. If the game’s main focus is mid lane, though, Vitality will probably have an edge due to Jiizuke’s well-known laning prowess, and Nisqy’s preference for scaling champions. I still think Splyce will be a bit stronger, purely because of their competent coaching staff that should have researched the meta quite well, but anything can happen in this match.
(VIT 40%, SPY 60%) – bet at BetOnline
Giants Gaming vs. H2k-Gaming
Last split performances of Giants and H2k were nearly exact opposites. while Giants started strong and held a playoff spot for quite some time, H2k tanked the entire first half of the split and placed last. At the end, though, the tables were switched: Giants ended bottom of the table, while H2k got to quarterfinals after substantial roster changes. Giants’ support has changed, as they decided to bring in a rookie, the well-known soloQ player SirNukesAlot.
The new meta should fit H2k like a glove, since Selfie and Shook have formed a great mid-jungle duo since the very beginning. Their bot lane should also have an advantage, as Sheriff has shown that his mechanics are one of the best in Europe, while on the other hand Steeelback is having an awful time playing the new picks in soloQ, and will also have to adapt to his new support. This should be a pretty safe win for H2k unless they mess up significantly.
(H2K 75%, GIA 25%) – bet at BetOnline
Unicorns of Love vs. FC Schalke 04
Berlin’s favourites UOL will face their fellow playoff shortcomers in a match that is likely to be explosive and entertaining. Schalke have added a new jungler, the famous player-turned-caster-turned-player Amazing, who should help them with their shotcalling, while UOL are bringing an emergency sub in the ADC position.
UOL like playing a raw and bloody game, which is certainly one of the main aspects of the current meta. Exileh is rumored to have stepped up hugely in the offseason, and Nukeduck surely won’t have an easy job. However, the bot lane is a huge issue for the Unicorns. Their sub Neon has never played on a big stage before, and he also lacks scrim time and synergy with the team. Since Schalke are known for their ability to throw games, UOL shouldn’t be counted out, but it must be said that the football giants are small favourites here.
(UOL 35%, S04 65%) – bet at BetOnline
G2 Esports vs. Team ROCCAT
G2 are entering this split as non-champions, for the first time since they joined the LCS in 2016. It should be expected that they have been putting in serious work in the offseason, as a race for the title should be a given for a team with such a legacy. Roccat have made no changes to their roster after finally reaching playoffs after two years, and they will be looking to repeat that success in Summer.
G2 fans can breathe a sigh of relief as Hjarnan is no longer the main carry of the team in these circumstances. Jankos and Perkz have been putting massive effort into improving over the break, and they should have an advantage over Memento and especially Blanc. Roccat’s macro, which helped them a lot during Spring, won’t mean much here, as games are usually much less coherent and way more hectic than before. G2 are certainly the stronger team and should be taking this, but Roccat, “the kingslayers”, can never be written out.
(G2 70%, ROC 30%) – bet at BetOnline
Fnatic vs. Misfits Gaming
You can never be certain about the outcome of Misfits’ games. The Bunnies didn’t even reach playoffs last split, but they were also the only team to beat the eventual champions Fnatic twice. Fnatic will be looking for revenge, and also for a solution to their top lane dilemma, where they have two top tier players to choose from.
Caps and Broxah are probably having a great time thinking about this game, as they are both in great form and synergise exceptionally well, which is hugely important for a mid/jungle duo at the moment. A problem for both can be a lack of focus on the bot lanes, where Rekkles and Hans Sama were excelling last split. However, early game is Fnatic’s great edge over Misfits. While Misfits are considered to be Fnatic’s Kryptonite, it’s very hard to say that they’re favourites here. An upset is certainly possible, though.
(FNC 65%, MSF 35%) – bet at BetOnline
H2k-Gaming vs. Team ROCCAT
The duel between the two of the most unlikely participants of Spring playoffs is likely to be a fiery one. Both teams have noticeable strengths and weaknesses, and a win against their direct competitors for the lower playoff seeds will mean a lot for either of them.
Roccat like to snowball and H2K like to fight in the late game, to summarize the playstyles of these two teams. H2K know how to keep Roccat’s lanes calm, though, as they succeeded in surviving the early game aggression both times last split. Roccat likely won’t be having a field day here, but they do have their chances if Profit smashes top lane and Memento and Blanc at least go even with H2k’s fearsome duo. H2k should be slightly favoured here, as their plan is much easier to execute.
(H2K 60%, ROC 40%) – bet at BetOnline
Unicorns of Love vs. Misfits
The two famously inconsistent teams will have a very important duel here, as both need to face much stronger opponents later on. Misfits should be more inclined to win this, though, as UOL are playing without their starting ADC, and are not expected to do well in the first week. Last split Misfits took the wins, but can the Unicorns surprise them?
It’s obvious that Misfits were having early and mid game issues all year, and changing coaches could have a positive effect in that field. Maxlore’s pathing could be exploited by UOL’s intelligent jungler Kold, but Hans Sama and Mikyx are likely to build up a hefty gold lead against Totoro and his sub ADC Neon. There’s one thing UOL can put all their hopes in though, and that’s their volatile mid laner Exileh. As a well-known Yasuo, Ryze and Zoe player, Exileh could have one of his good days and simply explode and hard-carry his team. However unlikely that might sound, I think there’s a good chance of that scenario coming true. Just a tiny advantage for Misfits here.
(MSF 55%, UOL 45%) – bet at BetOnline
Team Vitality vs. Giants Gaming
Vitality’s squad will face their former team in their second game of the week, and a victory against Giants is what everyone will be expecting from them. Giants likely have a few tricks up their sleeves, but it’s questionable if it will be enough to beat a team that is, honestly, a bit out of their league.
Vitality will have a likely advantage in the early game, due to Gilius and Jiizuke synergising a lot better than their counterparts on the opposing team. Also, considering his versatility, Attila is expected to be quite a bit better than Steeelback at the new mage picks in the bot lane. What Giants could do is basically just funneling all of their gold into Betsy, but the Swede hasn’t shown the ability to carry recently, similarly to the rest of his teammates. Won’t be hard for Vitality to get that W here.
(VIT 80%, GIA 20%) – bet at BetOnline
FC Schalke 04 vs. Fnatic
We’re likely in for a treat in this game. Schalke are gunning for glory with their new jungler, and a victory against the reigning champions would surely lift their spirits to the stratosphere. Fnatic are expected to win comfortably, but things might not be as clear as they seem at the first glance.
Schalke’s early game troubles should be somewhat mitigated by Amazing, who will also likely give one hundred and ten percent against his former team, where he did not have a good time at all. Fnatic’s Caps and Broxah should be able to take whatever Amazing and Nukeduck can throw at them, and a bot lane that has Rekkles in it is always expected to go Fnatic’s way. Schalke do have a chance, though, and Vizicsacsi will have to work very hard in order to get his team through the first teamfights. Fnatic are better both individually and team-wise, and should take this game, but the Royal Blues won’t give up easily.
(FNC 70%, S04 30%) – bet at BetOnline
G2 Esports vs. Splyce
The derby of week 1 is also the last game that will be played. G2 and Splyce are top teams, that know how to play to their advantages and would both like to see the EU LCS winner’s cup in their trophy case. A strong performance here means a direct advantage in the race for 1st place, and what more does a team need to try their hardest to win?
The main advantage for G2 should be Jankos, as he was the only jungler in Europe that always had Xerxe’s number. Perkz and Nisqy will be having an interesting duel in the mid lane, considering that G2’s mid laner has been practising the new picks extremely hard, and that his opponent is known to be somewhat of an innovator. Hjarnan and Wadid also usually perform well against the passive Kobbe and KaSing, but the bot lane can’t be predicted as easily as before. Still, G2 are slightly favoured in this match, but Splyce also has a very real chance of winning by putting in work through the top and mid lanes.
(G2 60%, SPY 40%) – bet at BetOnline